New Year’s Eve: We count down.

January 1st: We begin our new resolution.

February 1st: We’re keeping up with this resolution; it’s working great. We’re changed.

April 1st: We’re slacking off; our old self is nudging at us.

Mid- April: We’re back to the old best friend, our scared old self.

I know you didn’t make it with last year’s resolution or the one before or the one before, unless you are one of the 8% who manage to keep up with theirs. 2017 doesn’t have to be the same, at least not with that 8% making it every year.

Here’s what you need to do to make it like those enviable 8%:

1. Write your resolution down

Since your resolution is probably you wanting to implement a new habit or discard an old one, having a vague idea or a good feeling about the resolution is not enough to set you sturdy for change. Write your resolution down and read it to yourself. Make a short concise simple sentence per resolution. End the sentence and do not cloud it with sub ideas.

2. Make your resolution in the affirmative form

Do not write “I will not eat junk food”, instead make it “I will eat more vegetables”. Do not write “I will not get angry easily”; write “I will take a deep breath and count to ten before making a move”. The mind doesn’t understand sentences written in negative form. We are programmed to omit the “not” part and we will eventually do more of the habit we are trying to eliminate.

3. Make your resolution specific

“I will be fit” is a resolution that doesn’t work. “I will walk 30 minutes each day.” will work and is a strategy to follow.

4. Set a target. A target is a goal set in relation to time

“I will smoke less” is a goal. “I will make my smoking level a cigarette a day by May” is a target.

5. Consider everything when making your resolution

In other words, be realistic. If the resolution is joining a gym, consider traffic and your work load on the designated days. If the resolution is reading more books and you end the year with only one book added to your shelf, do not forget you are a student (if you are) and your resolution is beyond your capacity.

6. Cut your target down to aims

Your resolution is the target and that is a long term one. Your aims are the shorter termed goals that will drop you off at the target. One doesn’t work without the other. Cut your resolution down to smaller pieces. This way you can even reward yourself more frequently and maintain your motivation.

7. Form a circle of support

Working on your resolution alone can get overwhelming. Find yourself a group of people who share the same interest. They will help you stick with your resolution longer till it incorporates yourself into your system as a habit.

8. Don’t give up when you slack

Change is not easy and anyone opting for change should know that the process comes with tough times. Usually, change happens right after we make it through the part that challenges us.

9. Your resolution doesn’t have to be a big fancy one

Any positive minute change in your life is a resolution, even if it’s something along the lines of “eating breakfast at home every morning instead of buying something on the way to work” or “cleaning the pavement in front of your building every now and then”.

Our resolutions are supposed to empower us, not hit us on the head and tumble down. They should leave us feeling good about ourselves and show us that we are capable of making and sustaining change. Let 2017 be change year…

 

By: Dara Salamah